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Feeding the Great Big Man-Eating Content Monster

Date: September 18, 2019 • Category: Publishing • By: Ben Guttmann

The modern internet is based on a thirst one life-sustaining thing: content. We’ve been conditioned through years of continuously-updated feeds, streams, blogs, and other rivers of information to expect something new and interesting at the click of a refresh button. Journalists used to have monthly, weekly, or at most daily deadlines – now it’s an hourly update or traffic starts to dip.

Feeding this beast is both an obligation and an opportunity. To maintain or grow a position in the public’s conscience, you need to fill a calendar with daily content, which requires time, money, and attention. But by doing so well, a thought leader can spread his or her message to an ever-widening audience that then becomes the backbone for launching other initiatives.

Content Calendars

Depending on the networks that are part of your strategy, there is some variability in the optimal frequency for publishing content. Regardless, there is a need to build out and prepare a calendar for your posts on a weekly or monthly basis. This will empower your team to maintain a regular publishing schedule, which is vital to keeping your audience engaged. Fans respond best when they know what to expect and when to expect it.

Your subject matter might not enable you to build a calendar a month in advance – which is fine. Think of your calendar as a content library, instead of a rigid schedule. You and your team can pull from this pre-produced and pre-approved content to fill in open slots on your networks. This will enable you to add posts with current events or breaking news to your networks while still always having something to fall back on.

The Golden Rule: It’s impossible to give away too much information

We’ll often hear from authors, agents, publishers, or other stakeholders that they “don’t want to give it all away” in regards to sharing their message. That is flat-out wrong.

People aren’t buying your book because it has some secret formula in it. The thesis of your work can be found out for free by anybody with a search engine, library card, or television. They can piece together your interviews, magazine excerpts, the “Search Inside” function on Amazon, tweets from readers, reviews, blurbs, video trailers and all the other thousands of fragments to form what is, essentially, your book. People are buying your book because they want a souvenir. They want to be able to say they read it, to hear it all in your voice, and to have that trophy on their shelf.

We advocate towards sharing more and more of your content with the world. Not in the form of wholesale distribution of chapters or PDFs, but through videos, infographics, tweets, and more. The more you feed this machine, the more opportunity you have to touch the people that matter to you. (Of course, there may be PR considerations in giving certain publications exclusives to certain pieces of content, but beyond that we believe that more sharing is almost always better.)

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